Review: NiteRider Lumina 950 OLED Boost and Solas 100

Ed. Note: Since the time of this review, the 950 has been replaced with a 1100 lumen version with the same features and price. 

The Lumina OLED 950 Boost is NiteRider’s flagship road and commuter headlight, offering five steady light levels and four daylight flash modes all packed within a sleek, lightweight IP64 rated shell. Meaning, it’s dust tight and water resistant.

Versatility is the theme of this headlight. Being seen on your morning commute using the daylight flash mode, check. Late night trail ride with the steady beam of 800 lumens, check. Evening hike in the woods with the significant other using the 40 lumen walk mode, check. Getting lost during that evening hike and needing to send out an SOS signal, it has that too! This light is more than capable of handling whatever you may dish out at it.

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The most interesting feature of the Lumina OLED 950 Boost is its digital display. No more guessing if you have enough battery life to make it to and from a last minute trip to the six-pack shop or if you are able to commute the long way home from work. The easy to read digital screen displays the remaining battery time and even offers a (get ready to queue Europe) final countdown once you hit those final minutes of life. I found myself really appreciating this feature as I often neglect my light charging duties, constantly challenging how many rides I could get between charges, trying to outdo the previous. NiteRider did an excellent job displaying the battery percentage readout while charging and initial device power up and then displaying actual time remaining while in use. I was even pleasantly surprised by the display’s brightness level, a perfect balance of being able to easily read at quick glance and not being a distraction. I typically don’t care for bright gizmos disrupting my owl-like night vision, so major kudos to the design team on this one.

The Lithium-ion battery offers Intellicharge, which is able to utilize the increased amperage when plugged into the wall at 1000 mA versus a lower output, such as your computer, at 500 mA. Ultimately, what this means is that if charged using the higher mA, you can reduce your standard six hour charge time in half.

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To the rear of the bike, NiteRider’s Solas 100 pairs up nicely, offering two modes of “Daylight Visible Flash” and two steady modes. Between the four modes available you can expect an average of roughly 13.5 hours of run time and a standard charge time of two hours. Like the Lumina OLED 950 Boost, it too is nicely packed into a compact IP64 shell.

An interesting feature of the Solas 100 is the steady “Group Ride Mode” setting which reduces the taillight to roughly 10 lumens and helps to not distract the riders behind you, all while remaining visible. As I found out, this setting is also equally suitable for your long rail trail adventure or B road getaways where you are in darker areas and less likely to run upon motorists. Times when you don’t necessarily need that in your face, hey look at me, notice me, strobe light.

Price: $180

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More info and specs and be found online here.

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Four rear lights for summer nights (and beyond)

By Jeffrey Stern 

Although the longest day of the year has passed, there are plenty of late summer nights in our future. When I think of summer, I think of big bike adventures, often planned to be done around dinner time, but also just as often pushed well past twilight. Only for pure enjoyment sake and because you can never say no to one more new trail or road when there’s still a bit of light left in the sky, right?

Too many times this leads to riding home in the dark, sharing lights with a friend or two. The classic, one of you has a front light, the other a rear and the third has neither so they sit in the middle of the reduced peloton on the midnight express through the city streets and back safely home…

Why not nearly guarantee your visibility with a high-quality, USB rechargeable light that will last you for seasons to come? Trust me, your family and tail-wagging pup will thank you when you walk in the door safely all summer long.

The Lezyne Zecto is a high visibility three-LED, 20 lumen light with a built in motion detecting system featuring six different flashing modes. This light will automatically turn off after three minutes of inactivity. With a machined aluminum faceplate and lightweight, yet durable composite matrix body the Zecto it is as sturdy as functional. At a svelte 47 grams, this micro-USB rechargeable light also has a versatile clip-on system for easy attachment to your seatpost, pannier or backpack and only costs $50.

LezyneZecto

At 65 lumens, Trek’s Bontrager Flare R Tail Light features a CREE LED that can reportedly be seen from over 2km away day or night. With two night and two day modes, the 270-degree visibility offered by the Flare provides the ultimate safety options for all-day riding. A unique battery save mode kicks in at 5% life to get you home safely in that last hour of your ride. The quick connect bracket and 16 degree offset makes attachment and adjustment a breeze for this features loaded $60 USB rechargeable light.

BontragerFlare

If you have a little more to spend and are looking for the increased safety of a built in camera, look no further than the Cycliq Fly 6 bike camera. The Fly 6 is a waterproof rear light with 720p HD camera in case of an on-road accident. At just over 100 grams with a 100-degree view, this light/camera combo watches your back by recording in 10 minute intervals so you can ride stress free. Run time is rated at six-plus hours and the Fly 6 comes with an 8GB Class 10 MicroSD card as well as USB cable. Substantially more than most rear lights at $140, it’s well worth the investment if your rides take you on the narrow shoulders of busy roads frequently, for increased peace of mind for you and your family.

CycliqFly6

The Cygolight Hotshot 50 delivers a lot of power, to the tune of 50 lumens, in a small and affordable package. It’s lithium-ion battery is charged lightning quick via USB and the six different light speeds are user-adjustable. With 500 hours of use available on a single charge and costing a cool $30, this might be the best bang-for-your-buck rear light option on the market.

CygolightHotshot50

Check back next week for our picks for the best front lights for your summer riding and ride safety!

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